Linden Industrial Association
The next meeting of the Association will be at the Meeting Room at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, New Jersey, at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Our Guest Speaker will be Michael Hamilton, Ergonomics Safety Specialist, A&M Industrial, who will speak regarding Workplace Ergonomics.
Please note your diary and confirm your attendance by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we may make the appropriate arrangements for breakfast. You should plan to have a substitute attend on behalf of your company if you are not able to attend. The Minutes of the meeting on January 15, 2019, are included below.
Calendar of Events
February 19, 2019 (Sponsored by A&M Industrial)
March 19, 2019 (Sponsored by Cogen Technologies Linden Venture LP)
April 18, 2019 Annual Dinner
May 21, 2019 (Sponsored by Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery)
June 18, 2019 (Sponsored by General Magnaplate Corp.)
September 17, 2019 (Sponsored by Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper PC)
October 15, 2019 (Sponsored by Infineum USA L.P.)
November 19, 2019 (Sponsored by Batteries & Bulbs)
Linden Industrial Association
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
LINDEN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION
A regular meeting of the Linden Industrial Association was held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at 8 a.m. at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, NJ, pursuant to written notice thereof duly sent to all members in accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws of the Association. The following were present:
Paul Abramson SolarKAL
Mayor Derek Armstead City of Linden
Andy Bachman Linden Warehouse & Distribution
Joe Barbanel JREZ LLC
Chris Beriont Pennoni
Joe Brown City of Rahway
Kathleen Burke A&M Industrial
Angel Cartagena Batteries Plus Bulbs
Wayne Cromwell General Magnaplate
James K. Estabrook, Esq. Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, PC
Mayor Ray Giacobbe, Guest Speaker, City of Rahway
Gregory Grasso Linden Board of Education
Brandon Hering Linden VFT
Thomas Kasper Unity Bank
Bruce Klarberg Be Green Facility
Bernie Kordelski Total Specialties
Chris Lacancellera Paychex
Gene Lauricella Linden Bulk Transportation
June Lazaro Primerica
Juan Carlos Lopez NEMA Design
Alex Lospinoso LEDC
Richard Lulla Mott MacDonald
Janet Miller Cox Printers & Digital Design
Bob Morrison Servpro of Central Union County
Eric Nowoslawski Gateway Chamber of Commerce
Nancy Sadlon Phillips 66
Natalie Sesto Cogen
Robert Sobol Brinkerhoff Environmental Services
Rebecca Kerins Tattoli Assistant to the Mayor of Linden
Angie Tsirkas Northfield Bank
David Young A&M Industrial
Our special thanks to Bernie Kordelski, Barry Martin and Total Specialties, Inc., for their continued support of the Linden Industrial Association in sponsoring today’s breakfast meeting. A motion was duly made and seconded to approve the minutes of the membership meeting on November 20, 2018. The motion was unanimously passed.
President’s Report. President June Lazaro reminded the membership that at the Annual Dinner in April the Association would present the Linden Industrial Association Business & Community Award. A flyer was distributed to the membership reminding each company to think about a valued employee who has made a civic contribution to the City of Linden or improved its business operations. Nominations will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees and the winner will be announced at the Annual Dinner on April 18, 2019. The President reminded the membership that they should have all received their dues notice for 2019 and requested that all make prompt payment. Ms. Lazaro thanked the members of the Board of Trustees who attended and participated in the semiannual Board of Trustees meeting on January 3, 2019. President Lazaro then discussed the volatility in the stock market and the difficulty it presented for individual investors. She also reported on a presentation recently provided by the Chief Economist for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the Gateway Warehousing Association meeting as well as current opportunities being provided by the Union County Economic Development Corporation.
Program. President June Lazaro was pleased to introduce the Honorable Raymond A. Giacobbe, Mayor of the City of Rahway. Mayor Giacobbe was proud to be a lifelong resident of the City of Rahway. He is a 4th generation resident, with his great grandfather having arrived from Italy to start a construction company which still maintains business operations in Rahway today. The City is a business-friendly environment, and it should not be known solely for the misnamed Rahway Prison. It is actually “The East Jersey State Penitentiary,” and it is located in Iselin but the name, “Rahway Prison,” seems to have stuck.
As a lifelong resident, Mayor Giacobbe knew that the City of Rahway had suffered, like many municipalities, through a decline in manufacturing and the development of shopping malls, both of which deteriorated the downtown businesses and the middle-class affordability of housing.
In the 1990’s, however, led by former Mayor Jim Kennedy, the City made a significant turnaround. It focused first on the great transportation network that runs through Rahway. The “Transit Village” designation provided to it by the State created a hub around which redevelopment could occur. Its rail access directly into Manhattan was enhanced in 2005 by a substantial parking deck. It has become such a draw to the City that there is now a waiting list of over 200 for parking permits. The City of Rahway is also surrounded by some of the State’s major highways, which allows easy ingress and egress. Surrounding the Transit Village, there has been substantial residential development with seven new apartment or condominium complexes under construction. Current apartments are at a 96% occupancy rate.
In addition, the City invested substantially in its Art District, the cornerstone of which is the Union County Arts Center, which draws national acts. A more intimate environment is provided by Hamilton Stage which hosts live performances and a gallery space, which is dedicated to the visual arts. The City of Rahway also sponsors a multitude of public events and street fairs. For instance, during the summer there are music and arts fairs almost every week. The Rahway Review, which the Mayor distributed to all attendees, is a quarterly publication provided to all citizens, which gives an update as to all the cultural and civic events occurring.
The Mayor and his administration constantly work to increase downtown traffic, which will increase business interest. They realize that with shopping malls it is important for downtown districts to maintain specialty retailers and restaurants that make them a destination location. Recently they have opened a microbrewery, yoga studio, café and creamery, framing shop and performance space, and specialty pizza parlor, which all give the downtown district a distinctive flair. What all these businesses have to offer cannot be purchased at a large shopping mall or online. The hotel across the street from the train station has become a destination site as well with an attractive lobby and bar.
Technology companies such as SDI, IMM and ADS have all opened significant operations in the City, bringing with them job opportunities. The City is also considering a shared workspace and thought incubators as another opportunity to attract new businesses.
In closing, the Mayor encouraged everyone to look at Rahway as not only a location for your business but also a destination for dinner, arts and events. In response to questions from the audience, the Mayor did say that he was working aggressively to mend the tarnished relationship between Merck and the City and believes with a new relationship, Merck will consider expanding their operations in Rahway. The City of Rahway has a population of almost 30,000 and, like many of its surrounding municipalities, parking remains an issue. The Mayor eliminated the Parking Authority, made it a utility and brought it back under his administration to eliminate the bureaucracy and allow the City to act more effectively and efficiently in addressing the parking issue.
Environmental, Health & Safety. Co-Chairmen Joe Barbanel did not know exactly how the government shutdown would impact the continuing operations of OSHA and EPA. Rich Lulla reported that the Department of Environmental Protection in the State of New Jersey continues its process of simplifying the permitting process which will allow one step in renewing all permits. He also reported that in 2019 there will be changes to the major air permitting requirements. At the Federal level, the EPA was providing some relief from air quality requirements for refineries and papermills, including eliminating some public access to their data. At OSHA, they have new regulations regarding crane operators and the responsibility of employers to maintain operator certification and the safety of the equipment.
Government & Community Relations. Mayor Derek Armstead reported that the Super Walmart was under construction and should open in the fall of 2019. The Capataglia site should likewise be completed in the fall of 2019. Other developments in the City would be seeing groundbreaking ceremonies shortly. The Mayor proudly discussed the Veterans Day Celebration. Banners for 44 Veterans in the City were hanging downtown, and they held a banquet in their honor. He requested that if there were any other Veterans that they had overlooked, he was requesting that it be brought to the City’s attention. Also, the Santa Breakfast and tree lighting was a great success with multiple toys given out to needy children. In the downtown district there were ribbon cuttings for new stores, including a yoga studio, Wings Restaurant and artist studio.
Linden Economic Development Corporation. Director Alex Lospinoso reported that Legacy Square, which is surrounding the Super Walmart, continues to move forward. It is expected that there will be ten to 15 additional stores at the site, and it was not limited to retail as commercial and office tenants were welcome. Advance and Greek Development are still moving forward on their 4.1 million square foot warehouse space at Tremley Point. They were pleased to report that available jobs would increase to 3,000 from an initial projection of 2,000. The Pathmark, which has been closed for a while, should be opening Mother’s Day, providing jobs for 70 new employees. The longstanding Superfund Site in the City of Linden, LCP (Linden Chlorine and Plastics) property, composing 26 acres, remains a problem. It is estimated that it will take $36 million to clean up the mercury residue located on the property. Nevertheless, there seems to be parties interested in developing the site. As to the City of Linden landfill, they continue to seek a vendor to put solar panels on site.
Linden Public Schools. The Linden Public Schools representative, Gregory Grasso, reported that students from the business department had advanced to a State competition in Atlantic City. Also, the Junior Achievement Project was teaching financial literacy to the younger grades and a great success.
Membership. Bernie Kordelski welcomed Chris Lacancellera from Paychex, Robert P. Sobol, Brinkerhoff Environmental Services, Inc., and Bob Morrison, SERVPRO of Central Union County.
There being no further matters, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at the Hampton Inn.
James K. Estabrook, Esq., Secretary